Monday, March 24, 2014

A Place Called Hope

photo by Cody  Rapal   
My writing-colleague JL Strickland responded to my blog piece about     winter not being the last chapter
with these moving words. Thanks JL.                

Having buried two of my children, I can attest that the green of spring always returns, life-affirming and welcome as always,  but a lesser shade of green, to be sure.
My youngest son Jason didn’t talk until he was almost three years old.  We despaired of him, even though the doctors assured us there was nothing wrong, Jason was just a slow talker. The doctors said, “He’ll talk when he gets ready,” and so he finally did.  Jason went on to become a star student, a marksman with a basketball and a great husband and father, beloved by all who knew him.  
As a small, still-silent child, when Jason suffered the usual childhood ailments and fevers,  it scared him.  He would, wordlessly, climb into my lap for comfort and snuggle against me, beating heart to beating heart.  The sorrow came later when I could no longer hold him until he was well. The not being able to embrace a lost child is the hard part. And the loss of the comfort and exchange of the wordless love that human touch creates for both parties, the giver and the receiver.  
But, I am convinced that the human heart, though wounded, is the most resilient living thing we are likely to see in this world.  We have to be strong to survive and complete our journey.  It is not easy, but it can be done – if you work at it.
(JL Strickland can be reached at his email:

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